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January 19, 2017



Today's Top Stories



Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services


All-French Aerospace Merger: Safran Agrees to Buy Zodiac for $10.5 Billion

Aircraft engine manufacturer Safran has agreed to buy Zodiac Aerospace for $10.5 billion in a deal that will merge France’s two biggest aerospace companies. The acquisition follows multiple profit warnings issued by the aircraft seat supplier and a tumbling share price that occurred amid delays in delivering seats to Airbus for the recently launched A350. Philippe Petitcolin, Safran’s CEO, said the deal will create the world’s third-largest aerospace supplier behind GE and United Technologies. Petitcolin will remain at the helm of the group, with Zodiac CEO Olivier Zarrouati as his deputy. French President François Hollande said he welcomed the takeover, describing it as a “beautiful industrial operation.”

Bloomberg | Related Zodiac says any takeover would have to offer better value than can be achieved alone – Reuters



Ryanair to Raise Formal Complaint About Lufthansa-Airberlin Wet Lease Deal

Ryanair intends to lodge a formal complaint against Lufthansa Group’s plan to wet lease aircraft from its rival airberlin. The deal, which was agreed upon in December, involves 38 airberlin Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft transferred to operate under Eurowings and Austrian Airlines for six years as of February. Ryanair CCO David O’Brien said the deal is anti-competitive because Lufthansa and airberlin, combined, control 63 percent of German capacity and 98 percent of the top 20 domestic routes. “We will certainly be making a submission on airberlin and Lufthansa. It is entirely a blocking maneuver,” he said.

Air Transport World | Related Etihad Airways not looking to take stake in Lufthansa – Reuters



APEX CEO Joe Leader Speaks to The Economist About IFE Movie Editing

The Economist yesterday published an article on how and why movies are edited for in-flight entertainment. To address the topic, the weekly publication’s Gulliver business travel blog spoke with APEX CEO Joe Leader, who said that while terrorism and airplane crashes are still unlikely to be shown on board, entertainment providers can take a selective approach to editing based on the likely demographic of the flight. According to Leader, the “best litmus test for regional in-flight entertainment practices” is local television. For Europe, “some nudity may be readily seen on broadcast television,” yet graphic violence is less acceptable, while the opposite applies in the Middle East and the US.

The Economist | Related Delta criticized for deleting same-sex love scene from in-flight movie Carol – Los Angeles Times



American Unveils No-Frills Fare, Barring Use of Overhead Bin

After delaying rollout of its basic economy fare to avoid any potential disruption during the holiday season, American Airlines has announced a no-frills ticket that limits carry-on bags to those that fit under seats, stepping up its effort to compete with low-cost carriers. Following the lead of United Airlines, American's basic economy fare won’t allow changes, cancellations or upgrades, but still provides access to in-flight entertainment, snacks and drinks. Passengers bringing larger carry-on items that can only fit in the overhead bins will be charged a $25 fee. American plans to begin sales of the new fare in February, but is limiting it to routes where it competes with low-cost carriers.

Chicago Tribune | Related United outlines basic economy rollout; to start with Minneapolis – AIR TRANSPORT WORLD



Call for Harsher Penalties to Curb Abuse of Gate and Ticket Agents

US government officials are pushing to protect gate and ticket agents from angry travelers. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which was implemented following 9/11, criminalizes verbal or physical assaults on airport staff, including all employees who have security duties within the airport. However, US Representative John Garamendi claims that the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Transportation have long interpreted the measure as more narrowly applying to Transportation Security Administration agents and law-enforcement officers. “A broader application … is especially needed in light of the troubling rise in violence we have seen against airline customer service agents,” said Edward Wytkind, president of Transportation Trades at the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Business Traveller | Related China airlines join forces to blacklist rowdy passengers – Reuters



Panasonic to Test Autonomous Robot at Narita International Airport

Panasonic has unveiled an autonomous delivery robot at ANA Crowne Plaza Narita, where the company is running live tests. The robot, called HOSPI(R), has been deployed in the hotel’s lobby area, and is offering bottled drinks to guests and providing information about bus departures. Next week, the robot will move onto Narita International Airport’s travel lounge, where it will transport dirty dishes to the kitchen area. According to Panasonic, “At the moment, there are no plans to introduce the HOSPI(R) to Narita International Airport and ANA Crowne Plaza Narita more permanently.”

Digital Trends | Related Meet the Robots Transforming the Airport Experience – APEX Media



Airlines Invest in Economy Passengers With Better-Than-Basic Amenity Kits

Amenity kits containing premium brand toiletries are often treated as luxury gifts for first-class passengers. But some airlines are bringing amenity kits back to economy passengers to enhance their experience. Earlier this month, Qatar Airways delighted economy-class passengers with the launch of new destination-themed amenity kits including Institut Karité lip balm and a Miradent dental kit in addition to an eye mask, socks and earplugs. Air Astana, Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways are among the other airlines also investing in economy kits, giving travelers a little something to take home and remember their experience by.

APEX Media | Related Beyond Basic: Lounges for Economy Travelers – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Winter looks gorgeous this way. Captured by (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!


> Tweet of the Day

We're 77 years old today. The first flight, an @AerLingus Lockheed 14 bound for @LPL_Airport, departed at 9 a.m. #IrishFact

Dublin Airport @DublinAirport


Association News

Reserve Your Room for #APEXMARKET in Berlin

APEX MultiMedia Market will take place at the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin, from April 24 to 26. #APEXMARKET is the only global industry event focused on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide vendors of TV, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications. Register now to attend the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference for connecting buyers and sellers. Click here for more information about how to reserve your accommodations.


> Quote of the Day

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

Alan Watts


Until tomorrow



The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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